WELCOME TO MY BLOG SITE
These are exciting times to be sure. The year of Jubilee is upon us. Signs pointing to the Second Coming of Yeshua/Jesus are on the news daily. The seventh blood moon triad over Jerusalem since Yeshua/Jesus was here the first time is almost complete. Israel is surrounded by her enemies. The olive tree (Israel) has sprouted. All of these major events are both exciting and frightening at the same time; and they all point to a soon return of our Lord and Savior! There are a lot of very good websites on any of these subjects if you want more details. This web site is intended to address the spiritual aspects of The Lord's expectation, i.e. what is the criteria for choosing the lost and the saved. I added a short message on physical preparedness - most of what I found had to do with self-help, rather than reliance on God.
My name is Tony Ritter, and I didn't believe in God until I was forty-five years old - that was thirty-three years ago! I met Him in a cloud of light that seemed to be similar to the description Moses gave when he met Him on the mountain to receive the Commandments. Since that time God has spoken to me through verbal communications, dreams and visions. Not knowing anything about Him, it seemed quite natural that He would communicate with those who had a "personal relationship" with Him. It turns out that is not the case, so I wrote a short book describing the more significant communications. If you are interested you can find it at Trafford Publishing, or Amazon (cheaper! or electronically, even cheaper!), under the title "A Path Less Followed". More recently, I wrote a paper on the second coming of Yeshua/Jesus. That paper is the motivation for this web site, and is the first message. I hope you find it interesting and useful. As I always say, "To be fore-warned is to be fore-warned". As always, true belief is always followed by action! It is my intention to add to this paper periodically; as The Spirit moves me. To avoid a lot of duplication, I will use the Hebrew name for our Savior, Yeshua. Please recognize it as Jesus. I hope you find this website useful, if so, please tell your friends on social media - Thank You very much for your part in these exciting times! I'm presently having about 300 visits/month, and with your help it can grow! You can help spread the word, and your effort may reach someone you care about!
The following messages are more or less in chronological order, If you want to start at the beginning and/or haven't read them all, the latest are first. If this is your first visit, or you haven't visited in awhile, it may help to read through all of the entries. I also moved the Parable of the End of Days to the top of the entries. Thank you for visiting this site.
Parable of the End of Days
There was a mighty King who ruled over all the Earth. He created a people who were much like Himself. He put them in a perfect place, and then to test them, He gave them one rule. They quickly broke that rule, and then, like father - like son; all of their descendants followed suit. After many years had passed, the descendants spread over the face of the Earth. Their disobedience had grown and spread with them to the point that the King was sorry for what He had started. So, with the exception of one small family who had listened and obeyed Him, He destroyed them all. Many more years passed and entire cities were living in disobedience, so the King destroyed a couple of those cities with fire. He also saved one small family who had listened and obeyed Him. That one family grew into a family that covered the entire Earth, but they, too became disobedient. The King thought that perhaps the people didn't understand what He expected of them, so He sent His only Son to teach them. The spirit of disobedience killed the Son, and disobedience grew out of control. Sexual misconduct was every where. Entire societies grew and killed those they didn't like. The education systems wouldn't allow the King's laws to be taught. The people grew to believe that the King loved them so much that they could do as they pleased. Men married men; women married women - and it was the law of the land. Parents killed their unborn children because they didn't want them - and that too was the law of the land. Children were taken as sex - slaves and sold to the highest bidder. Pornography and theft was available through the clouds of the heavens to all who wanted them. People found entertainment in watching killings, rapes, sex, and even children hunting and killing other children as a sporting event; on television and in the movies! Greed had grown out of control - even in the Princes that were put in power by the King made their own rules that contradicted His will for His People. The people thought that surely the kind King loved them and wouldn't kill them: even though He had given them clear warnings in examples of previous destruction. The face of the Earth was again covered with disobedience as it was in the days of the Cities He had destroyed. The King decided He would come to reign in person - What do you think He is going to do this time? He already told them He would destroy the Earth with fire! Will He find anyone faithful? Will only a small family of People survive? Will you be one of them?
If you are reading this, it is not too late to prepare, soon it will be.
November 18, 2016 - Physical Readiness from a Spiritual Perspective
"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galatians 5:25
When I started this web-site my focus was on the spiritual aspects of being prepared for the second coming of Yeshua/Jesus. There is however an important interface between spiritual and physical readiness. We would be well served if we addressed both.
If ever there was a time to get serious about our relationship with The Lord, now is the time. We should, however, always be ready to meet Him. If He should tarry, we could wind up in a position of going to Him rather than Him coming to us; we never know.
In the previous messages, our spiritual readiness was fairly well covered, and has to do with obedience to God. As you read my writings, I talk a lot about the Law, but never about being saved by keeping the Law - a very important point. "If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law." (Gal 3:18) However, The Law did come to us with curses and blessings. While, according to Paul, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.' But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for 'the just shall live by faith.' Yet the law is not of faith, but 'the man who does them shall live by them.' Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree')". (Galatians 3:10-13) Paul continues with, "Therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come we are no longer under a tutor." (Galatians 3:24,25)
The Law also came with blessings, and I for one love blessings from The Lord! The Law is also a tutor that reflects God's will for His people, and teaches us how best to live in His complex creation. The Law further reflects the nature of God - we can see God's Law reflecting His very nature, and His will for His children.
After Jesus was baptized and tempted by the Devil in the wilderness, He began His ministry with this teaching: "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17). That's simple enough. On the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the eleven apostles, and filled them with the Holy Spirit, they began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. When the sound of the Spirit occurred, there were dwelling in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. They became confused because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice and preached a sermon to them (Acts 2:14-36). When Peter was finished, those who were listening asked Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what are we to do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to our and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call .(Acts 2:37-39).
When we repent, God forgives us, "For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him: as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:11,12). "Take time to ponder and take in the love of God that removed your sins as far as the east is from the west (infinitely far) - and live accordingly!" (Jonathan Cahn, The Book of Mysteries)
So, let's take a look at physical readiness from a Spiritual perspective. In both the New and Old Testaments it is written: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deut 8:3 and Mt 4:4). It is also written: "Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (God), for He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb 11:6). When we talk about "every Word" we include both Scripture and the teaching of Jesus - The Word became flesh (all is Scripture). Simply stated, "You can believe what's in the Bible." (A word that God gave me early in my walk with Him!)
We talked about both faith and Scripture, and they are inseparable. Our faith should be based on "something we can know is true" and we can trust above all: that "something" is Scripture, the Word of God. If we can't trust Scripture, surely we are without hope. Back to our subject: Most of what I have found on the internet relative to surviving the end times has to do with what we can do personally, i.e. self-reliance, rather than reliance on our God who will never fail us.
We know that we can rely on God to care for us because it is written, "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns: yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek, For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do nor worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things" (Matthew 6:25-34)
This teaching from Jesus was clearly demonstrated during the Exodus which is a story about the Israelite's travels out of Egypt and slavery to Pharaoh. While they were traveling through the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land, they had food and water; their clothes didn't wear out, and they were never sick. This trip (the first trip was forty years!) was a clear fore-shadowing of our trip through the wilderness on our way to the Promised Land. God tells us if we seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, all our needs will be added to us. We know we can trust in Scripture, and in God to fulfill His promises! If ever there was a time to get serious about our relationship with The Lord, now is the time.
We now know all we need to know about how to survive - seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. What in the world does that mean? I met The Lord thirty-three years ago. I've read many translations of the Bible, studied in many different churches, and read many books; and a lot of things blew right past me. In the past few years I became convicted of the absolute truth of Scripture and the need to walk in it. While God's creation is complex beyond our understanding; God's system for us to live by is easy to understand. It is simply based on faith - we must believe what He says; and walk in that belief. I can attest to the fact that at times it is frightening, but it always works. I made a commitment to step out in faith and do what Scripture teaches. The results are absolutely amazing.
According to the Gospel of John, Jesus said, "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in me and I in Him." (John 10:37) Jesus lives in and through us; we have the Holy Spirit living in us, and that is why Jesus said: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do." (John 14:12). Most Christians with any depth know that verse, but don't really believe or practice it because of a lack of faith. We miss out on a lot of things that God has done for us because of our shallow belief system. Scripture may sound too good to be true, but it is true. When we step out in faith we find how true Scripture is, and our faith explodes with new life!
As I study The Bible, I write the Scriptures I want to remember on recipe cards, then I review the cards every few days. Here are some of my favorites - we all need our own special Scriptures depending on our gifts and/or interests:
"For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8) As a disciple of Jesus, my agenda should be, and is, to destroy the works of the devil.
"Behold, I (Jesus) give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10:19) That is a tremendous amount of authority and power! Jesus goes on to say, "Never the less, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20) I use these two verses to show people how we can exercise power over the enemy spirits by demanding in the name of Jesus that such things as yellow-jackets, bees, and the like leave in obedience to the name of Jesus and according to these verses. It is a very visible and powerful display of these verses; and also for planting seeds.
The Great commission according to Mark tells us to: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons: ... they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:15-18). As a person who believes and is baptized, I can and do lay hands on the sick, and they recover. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the Devil, He quoted Scripture (the Word of God) which is the Sword of the Spirit. It is a good idea to do the same. In the case of a two year old boy whose mother asked for prayer - he had pre-cancerous cells in his body - I quoted Luke 10:19, and gave them some examples, then took the boy and quoted Mark 16:15-18 and spoke "In the name of Jesus, he is whole and healed." The boy went to the doctor the following Tuesday, and the report came back that he was clear of all cancer cells! Praise God! That is an example of the blessings that comes from obedience to God! We must understand, all glory goes to God - not to us - we just provide a conduit. What a privilege and blessing it is!
"By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." (Matthew 18:16 and Deut 17:6, 19:15) "Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:19,20) I am part of a prayer group, and my partner and I always pray in agreement.
"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him." (Luke 11:13) "Please let a double portion of your Spirit be upon me." (2Kings 2:9) These two should be obvious, the more of the Holy Spirit we have the more of His power we have. The double portion is a prayer from Elisha, when Elijah was taken up to heaven. Also, "And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures." (Luke 24;45) That is a prayer that I use, asking that I understand Scriptures as God meant them to be understood.
Isa 53:4; Mt 8:17; and 1Peter2:24 These have to do with physical healing. My prayer partner, when I asked him a question about healing, told me to "study-out" Isa 53. I would recommend anyone wanting to better understand what happened at Calvary to do the same. It took me an entire day to do so, and was worth every minute! The night I finished the study, my daughter told me she had breast cancer. I called my prayer partner and we prayed Isa 53 over her. She is cancer free; the cancer was not genetic so my granddaughter has no concerns; and it was non-invasive! Praise God!
And finally, "Scripture cannot be broken." (John 10:35). It cannot be broken by us, nor can it be broken by God. Scripture is a rock solid basis for our faith - believe in it and walk in it!
These are some of my favorite Scriptures for where I am in my walk with God. I go over them every few days. This is a rather personal list. We need to "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil2:12). And everyone has a different way of working things out. The main point of this message is well said by Smith Wigglesworth; "Many people miss a great many things because they are always thinking that they are for someone else." They are, in fact, for all believers.
I try to stick to teaching, but occasionally find myself preaching. Here is one message you may find helpful.
About Scripture. The words in The Bible are nothing more than ink on paper. They have no power at all. However, when we open The Book and read those words, they bring knowledge and understanding to us. When we speak those words, and act on them, the words become power and cause things to happen. Remember God spoke creation into existence! "God said ... and it was so."(Genesis chapter one) In the same manner, when we speak Scripture in Jesus' name, what we speak becomes so.
That is all well and good, however, what we speak also has power, and all too often we speak negatively, bringing about doubt and un-belief. Doubt and un-belief are faith killers and are what Satan uses to get to us, and what Jesus came to destroy. Satan was defeated at Calvary by "the blood of the lamb and the testimony of the Saints (us)." Then Jesus gave us the power to continue His work and to use His name. We now have the power we need to destroy the works of the devil by using the name of Jesus. Because of this, we need to carefully choose how we talk - our spoken words also have power. God hears all that we speak, but so does Satan, and he then uses our careless words against us.
Many people, when prayed for will respond with something like, "Maybe it'll work," or, "We hope it'll work," or, "if it's God's will, etc. These words have power also, and reflect doubt and un-belief - the opposite of faith, and the opposite of what we need. We must be careful with the words we speak.
We can readily know what God's will is by studying Scripture. Jesus said and did what His Father said and did, so we can know what God's will is by seeing what Jesus said and did. It's that easy! We are then in a position to pray His will. For example, Scripture says, "Jesus went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. (Acts 10:38). We then know we can do as Jesus did and bring about healing the sick because Jesus healed all, and healing all is clearly God's will, or Jesus wouldn't have healed all. Furthermore, we are part of "all". We don't have to "hope" or "maybe" anything, we can have confidence in knowing the "sick will recover." (Mark 16:15-18). We also see that sickness is oppression of the devil, it is not of God who is, "the Lord who heals you. (Exodus 15:26). Words have power, the only thing required is faith (belief in action)! We can speak life and we can speak death - choose life!
Step out in faith, and may the God of the Universe bless you as you prepare for His soon return!
"Spending time in the wilderness." (June 2, 2016)
Spending time in the wilderness was first documented in the Exodus when the Israelites were taken out of slavery to Egypt, into the wilderness, finally to the promised land. It was a clear fore-shadowing of our being taken out of slavery to sin and into the wilderness on our journey to the promised land. There is also a lot of fore-shadowing pointing to Jesus. This writing has to do with the Word that comes from the mouth of God.
From Deut. Chapter 8: God said, "You are to take care to do the whole commandment that I am commanding you today, so that you may live and multiply and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to your fathers. You are to remember all the way that the Lord your God has led you this 40 years in the wilderness - in order to humble you, to test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandment or not. He afflicted you and let you hunger, then He fed you manna which neither you nor your fathers had known - in order to make you understand that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." (Deut 8:1-6)
Then from Matthew Chapter 4: "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.' But He answered and said, 'It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."'
There you have it in both the Old and New Testaments - God never changes - "every word" is "every word." His Word does not change nor does He change. He never said otherwise; we don't keep "some" or "different", we keep "every" word that comes from the mouth of the Lord! That is the test in Revelation - Do we keep God's commands and follow Jesus' teaching or not? Those who do so are the target of Satan and also the ones who receive the mark of God. "Every word" is what we call "Scripture" and we are to keep it all while we are in the wilderness on our way to the promised land.
The moral and spiritual order of God's universe is just as sure as the natural order established upon the natural laws. We trust God's law of gravity without even thinking about it, and we must learn to trust God's every word in the same way. God's standards of righteousness are unchanging, and are just as sure. To live by this truth is to walk in faith. True faith is to have confidence in who God is. This was clearly documented in scripture by God when He said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." God wants us to obey Him because we love Him and love the truth, and truth is revealed through scripture. When we fail to have confidence in God's standards of righteousness we have no basis for our confidence in who God is. He created and upholds all things by the power of His Word and that Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That flesh was and is Jesus! (see the Gospel of John.) Read that last sentence carefully - what it is saying is that God spoke everything into being and His Word became Jesus - the Living Word of God! God's thoughts and ways are certainly far above ours. Our obedience to Scripture is a test and comes with blessings or curses. When we do things God's way we can't go wrong - He made everything including us, and He knows best how we should live our lives. That is living trust.
If you've read my testimony below, you know that God used to talk to me, then He stopped some three or four years ago. I really miss it! I've come to believe that He was, and still is, teaching me that reading His Word is as true as when He speaks to me personally. I can quote those things that he told me years ago, just as clearly as if it were today, and those words are unshakable truths to me. We need to get to the point where scripture is as unshakably true in the same manner. What helps me more than anything is "studying it out" when we want to understand a subject we don't fully understand." We find that the truth moves from facts in our minds we believe to be true, to facts in our hearts we know to be true. It takes time and effort, and is something that we have to do for ourselves - when we do so, we discover it for ourselves and we own it. Most of the feed-back I get is that people like what I write, but I am not aware of anyone who has taken it to heart and made any changes. If we are truly serious about God and what the truth is, we need to do as God says. When someone asks why I keep the Sabbath, it's because God said to. When they ask me why I don't eat unclean food, it's because God said not to. When they ask me why I wear tzitzits, it's because God said to. And on and on. We learn slowly, but I haven't found any negatives in doing what God says we should do or not do. Way back when I first met Him at 45 years old, I imagined standing before the Lord and knowing I would never tell him I wasn't going to obey him. One of these days we will have the opportunity to stand before Him. We can't get it all right, but we can have it in our hearts to do the very best that we can. Don't believe me - study it out!
"Sanity Check" April 21,2016
While I'm working on the subject of "Time" it might do to give ourselves a sanity check to see if we are in line with God's intentions for us. Yeshua/Jesus clearly taught The Law and The Prophets. He used them consistently in His teaching, and He clearly said He didn't come to abolish them, so it should be safe for us to use them also. The Bible that I am using is called Holy Scriptures and doesn't distinguish between the "Old" and "New" Testaments. Scripture is scripture, and all of it is from God; He never changes, He is consistent, He doesn't have favorites; and we can be thankful for all of that! Formatting the Bible into "Old" and "New" was probably the most confusing and damaging thing for it's readers; quite possibly the work of the Deceiver! It leads to the perception that the "new" supersedes the "old" which it doesn't. Perhaps Pre- or Post- Jesus would be more accurate.
Having said that, the prophet Ezekiel received and excellent summary on life (salvation) and death (the opposite) from The Lord. We either have eternal life with Him, or we perish; we don't have both. (John 3:16) The Lord told Ezekiel in Chapter 18: "The word of The Lord came to me saying: 'What do you mean by using this proverb in the land of Israel saying, "The fathers have eaten sour Grapes, so the children's teeth are set on edge?" As I live - it is a declaration of The Lord - "you will never again use this proverb in Israel. Behold, every living soul is Mine the soul of father as well as the soul of son - both are Mine. Behold, the soul who sins is the one who will die. That's simple enough, we sin we die. God continues with His word forEzekiel:
"Suppose a man is just and does what is lawful and right: He has not eaten at mountain shrines or lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel. He has not defiled his neighbor's wife or come near to a woman during niddah (her period). He does not wrong anyone, returns his pledge for a debt, does not commit robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment. He does not loan with interest or take unjust gain. He keeps his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between people, walks in My laws and keeps My statutes, behaving honestly. Such a person is just - he will surely live." it is a declaration of The Lord." From this it is clear that those who walk in God's laws, keep His statutes, and behave honestly are the ones who will live.
Continuing with the teaching from God given to Ezekiel: "Now suppose he fathers a son who is violent, who sheds blood and does any of these things to a brother (though the father himself does none of these things). He has even eaten at mountain shrines, defiled his neighbor's wife, wronged the poor and needy, taken by robbery, not restored the pledge, lifted up his eyes to the idols, committed abomination, loaned with interest and taken unjust gain. Will he live? He will surely be put to death and his blood will be on him." We learned from above: Behold, the soul who sins is the one who will die." It is clear that those who walk in God's laws, keep His statutes, and behave honestly are the ones who will live; the ones who don't are the ones who will die.
Skipping down to verse 20, "The soul that sins, he will die. The son will not bear the iniquity of the father with him, nor will the father bear the iniquity of the son with him. The righteousness of the righteous will be on him and the wickedness of the wicked will be on him. But if the wicked turns from all his sins that he has committed, and keeps all My laws and does what is lawful and right, he will surely live, he will not die. None of his transgressions that he committed will be remembered; because of his righteousness that he practiced, he will live." Wow! That is one of the best definitions of Grace in the scriptures. God requires the shedding of innocent blood for the remission of our sins. That was accomplished through the shedding of the blood of a sacrificial lamb, one day of the year on Yom Kippur - the day of Atonement, by the High Priest. That is one of the things Jesus accomplished for us at Calvary when He became our blameless sacrificial "Lamb of God" and High Priest. Rather than gaining remission for our sins once a year, we now can go to our High Priest, Jesus, 24/7 (anytime) and gain forgiveness! He also put the Law in our hearts and on our minds.
Continuing with verse 23: "Do I delight at all in the death of the wicked?" It is a declaration of the Lord. 'Rather, should he not return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity and does according to all the detestable acts that the wicked man does, will he live? None of his righteous deeds that he has done will be remembered; for his trespass that he trespassed and for his sins that he has sinned, for them he will die." This certainly sounds like "falling from grace" or "loosing our salvation" to me! The concept that you can't loose your salvation is not scriptural, and probably came from the conversation Jesus was having with the Judean leaders who wanted to know if He was The Messiah. Jesus answered them, "I told you but you don't believe! The works I do in My Father's name testify concerning Me. But you don't believe, because you are not My sheep. My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life! They will never perish, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand." (John 10:25-29) Jesus said no one could snatch us away, but we can choose sin over Godly living and die - that is quite clear. "Yeshua/Jesus also said, "I must lead, and they (His sheep) will listen to My voice, so there shall be one flock, one Shepherd." (John 10:16) It helps us to understand God's will for His people when we also see and Paul described, "For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of the body - though many - are one body so also is Messiah. For in one Spirit we were all immersed into one body - whether Jewish or Greek, slave or free - and all were made to drink one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:12,13) There are Messianic Jews and Messianic Gentiles, all under the one head of our Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, and the same rules apply to all - we either live or die as God told Ezekiel the Prophet!
God concludes His explanation to Ezekiel with this summary beginning with verse 26: " When the righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he dill die for it; because of his iniquity that he did, he will die. But when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he committed and does what is lawful and right, his soul will live. Because he considers and turns away from all his transgressions that he committed, he will surely live, not die."
There we have it from God through Ezekiel, John, and Paul. we are without excuse, we have a free will, and our choices result in blessings or curses. God concludes this teaching with Ezekiel by saying, "Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, each one according to his ways," it is a declaration of The Lord. Return, and turn away from all your transgressions, so they would not be a stumbling block of iniquity for you. Cast off from you all your transgressions that you have committed. Make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies" - it is a declaration of The Lord - "So return, and live!"
The scriptures tell us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. I hope this little message serves as an encouragement to you, it has for me. Occasionally we all need a sanity check to assure ourselves we are on the right path. Narrow is the path that leads to life and few are those who find it! That, my friend, is a scary verse, but it is in scripture, so we must accept it as truth. We are each responsible for ourselves and what we do toward working out our own salvation and staying on the right path is our responsibility - I take mine very seriously!
May the Lord bless you and keep you! May He also keep you in The Truth!
Update to Website March 3, 1916
One of the most difficult things for me to do is deciding what to write about; there are so many interesting and important topics to cover, and so little time. Time is one subject I want to cover; if we don't understand God's clock, we won't be able to understand (at least in our hearts) what His schedule is, and that schedule can be understood! Consequently, if we don't understand time and God's schedule, we most likely won't be very committed to our Lord's soon return, and we lose our sense of urgency. However, I feel lead to address salvation in this message. I began the website directed toward those who were already disciples of Yeshua/Jesus. One of the reasons I haven't identified most of the specific Bible verses is because what I have been writing about is fairly basic information that most believers already understand but may not follow. It may be that some readers were like I was for the first forty-five years of my life: I didn't believe that God was real, but I did believe that if I could ever come to know the truth, I would "be on fire for Him".
We all believe differently, and I can only speak from my experience; if you are a non-believer, don't expect the same experiences that I had, but here's mine; it is an excerpt from my book, A Path Less Followed, chapter 3 titled "Meeting God, sub titled, "Reality is what it is, not what we perceive it to be". Satan was defeated by the blood of the Lamb (Yeshua/Jesus) and the testimony of the saints; Here's mine:
... I was forty five years old and living in a house that faced true south. I would sit on the back deck at night, and position myself, first relative to the sun, then the planets and then (on a really clear night) in our universe, the Milky Way. I knew where I was and I was comfortable with it! I spent my down time pondering things like, what time is really like (I don't think we have an accurate concept of time, but it works for us where we are); what other life is out there; or for that matter; what other dimensions are out there that we can't sense; how can infinity go forever into the past (how can anything not have a beginning); and other questions like that, most of which I still can't answer very well! Not knowing the answers to those kind of questions wasn't a problem for me, they were just interesting, and seemed to be questions that could be answered and understood.
Then something started going wrong with my little world; my mental model had sprung a leak; it had an inconsistency in it. As I studied the universe and astronomy, I began to sense there was something more out there than the physical word, While I had a mental model from the largest of the universe to the smallest of the atomic world, I found that even though I could understand my surroundings fairly well, I couldn't explain feelings from a molecular standpoint. How could the physical result in feelings? Could the interaction of molecules or atoms cause emotions? What about things like love and hate? Anger and Joy? Fear? Oh dear! I remember back when I was thirty-seven and feeling like I had never failed at anything I attempted and probably never would! Was I in for a surprise!
Now I realize I don't understand much of anything, and that's not too bad, but at the time I had confidence as big as a barn in my understanding of things; and it was falling apart! How could it be that I might actually be wrong? This was very difficult for me so I started searching for some answers. They came in a way I didn't expect.
Over a period of several weeks, I felt a weight on me that got stronger and stronger, to the point of being almost unbearable. It was like the inability to admit I was wrong all these years combined with a need to be in control of everything in my surroundings. One day when I was alone at the house, I couldn't stand the pressure any longer. I had arrived at a point where I felt really strongly that God was real, but I was having an awfully hard time admitting to myself that I was wrong. I had an even harder time releasing what I was holding on to so firmly - my past and my known universe. Surely I haven't been wrong for forty-five years about a question of whether or not there was a God! Then there were all those fears about how changing my beliefs might change my life. I didn't have the foggiest idea of what kind of impact believing in God might have on me. It had always seemed to me that Christianity was some kind of a crutch. All of these thoughts and emotions kind of made my head spin!
The idea of a God who was real always appealed to me and I felt that if I could ever believe in Him, I would dive in head first, so ... I put my hands up on the French doors leading out onto the deck, dropped all the guards and all those walls I had built around myself for protection, and said in my mind, "God, why do you make it so difficult?" Immediately, I was plunged into a white light! The light became me, and I became the light; we were one. There was no interface between myself and the light that surrounded me; that is, I couldn't distinguish between myself and the light around me. Everything I was aware of was light! I was light; it was me. The closest thing I have seen that visually captures the light is the whitest of those billowing clouds including the reflected sunlight in the clouds. I couldn't sense anything but light. I have no idea how long this lasted, but since that moment in time, I have never doubted the existence of God!
While in this state of light, I wasn't aware of anything except the goose bumps that ran up my back and the feeling that my hair was standing on end. As it ended, it seemed like a power of concentration of energy drew off a hundred yards or so into the sky. I couldn't see it; I just sensed it. It stayed concentrated there while I asked some questions and received some answers; then it left my presence. It seemed like it just dissipated. This happened in the spring of my forty-fifth year - 1984. ...
I have had people tell me they were too great a sinner to come to God. Let me confess: a couple of years ago I was in one of those early men's meetings at a local church. When I walked in, there on the blackboard was a list of "sins'. There were three columns of ten to twelve sins each (thirty to thirty-six total). The list included all the biggies! I looked over the list and noted that I had committed all of them. I then leaned over to the pastor and said, "I have done all of them!" I was once that kind of person, thinking that if there was a god, and heaven was real; I'm a pretty good guy and surely I would go there! In that state, God chose to call me! I'm not that person any more! Point being; if He would call a person like the one I was, in that sinful condition, not believing in Him, and totally unrepentant, He can call anyone, and when/if He does, we should heed His call. That's an example of "born again" - we become a different person!
As I said, don't expect the same experience, I may well have been one of the hardest nuts that God has ever cracked! He has something special for each one of us. It is God's will that "all" be saved, and we are all part of all! Keep seeking Him and you will find Him! He will find you and call you in some special manner.
When we talk with God, we can come to Him any time of any day. My interactions with Him have been very casual - He likens Himself as our father or our daddy. Yeshua/Jesus, His Son, likens Himself as our brother. Nothing is complicated about it - He want's our heart - all we have to do is pour it out to Him. If you don't know what to say, but want to be part of what He is doing, pray the following prayer and your journey will begin. "God in heaven, I truly want to know you and the truth about you. If you are the God of the Bible, lead guide, and direct me to true knowledge and understanding. I want salvation and an everlasting life in your presence. I commit my life to you to allow you to change me into what you would have me to be. Thank you for your saving Word. Amen."
If you just made a decision to dedicate your life to Yeshua/Jesus, congratulations - the angels in heaven are rejoicing. The Lord Jesus is coming very soon to reign over His Kingdom and we can be part of it. This website is dedicated to helping people of the Kingdom to be prepared and to stand ready for His soon return. The basics are included in this website. In order to understand God's calendar of events, I plan to discuss "time"; it will help us to better understand why so many signs point to His near return, and how those signs relate to fulfillment of Biblical prophesy. I am currently working on that message. It is kind of like peeking into His day planner. Watch for it, It should be out soon.
May the God, Creator of all, watch over you in all that you do!
Update to Website December 21,2015
When I started this effort, my goal was to help my readers to prepare, and stay prepared, for the second coming of Yeshua/Jesus. We all know that no one knows the day or hour of His return, but there is strong evidence that He will return some time soon. There are dates that range from this year to seven years from this year, and the logic behind all of them makes some sense! Yeshua told us while He was here, no one knows the day or the hour except for our Father. If our father knows the day, it stands to reason the date has been set. In any case, we should be ready for whenever He comes. Being ready is living in His will. We already talked about days and seasons: understanding them and what they represent will help us figure out the season of His return.
There has been sufficient feedback to give us some direction toward where to focus; our focus for this writing is:
Free Will, Grace, and the Law
Before we go there, let's address the Shemitah. Things appeared on the surface to be quite uneventful, however, there were some very significant events, of a financial, physical, and spiritual nature. To see the financial, go to "MSN Money", and look at the graph of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) for the past year. The 1000 plus point drop in the first hour, and the market's performance during the end of the Shemitah year is pictorially obvious. What isn't obvious is the world wide ramifications that followed. The physical and spiritual issues have to do with the death of Biblical marriage brought about by the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court's decision to legalize LGBT marriage came on the same date this website was launched (a little trivia - the coincidence, not the Supreme Court's decision). This decision was celebrated by desecrating one of God's covenant signs: the rainbow. The rainbow is a sign from God that never again will all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again will there be a flood to ruin the land. Desecration is an interesting and powerful word that means to divert from a sacred to a profane use or purpose. The desecration was ordered by the President of the United States when he ordered the Symbol of America, the White House, to be lit with the rainbow, as a celebration of the Supreme Court's decision on marriage. This was followed by a whole new level of desecration, the symbol of the world's financial system, The One World Trade Center! It too, was lit by the sign of God - His rainbow. The word "desecration" has been on my mind and in my heart a lot lately. Another example of it is the changing of the seventh day Sabbath (a sign from God that He is the God who makes us Holy) to the first day of the week. To be sure, God is raised up any time we worship Him - daily isn't too frequently. Sunday worship, however, is not Sabbath keeping on the day that God set apart. The Jubilee year is further desecration brought about by the Pope who can pick a day and a reason and declare the year a Jubilee year. This practice goes back as far as the 1300s. If you want details, you can Google the words "desecration of God's signs", then check out some of the websites (one I found quite interesting was, "Jonathan Cahn: The Desecration of God's Rainbow." That brings us to our subject: Free will, Grace, and the Law.
Do we really have free will? Of course we do - God gave it to us...didn't He? The problem is the choices we make have consequences; the Bible calls them blessings and curses. When people ask why bad things happen to good people, the answer is because of free will. God gives us the right to choose, and some of us make poor choices that hurt others. Just look at the evening news. Most of it is bad and was caused by poor choices. All of those issues in my parable (See my previous message "Everything Has a purpose (July 23, 2012), below) were the results of poor choices. A lot of my readers liked that parable, but didn't like the idea of the Law which is a reflection of God's righteous principles. Seems strange to me - people claim to love the Lord, but don't want to do what He said we would do if we loved Him! Jesus, when asked what to do to be saved, said, "Keep my commands." He also said if we love Him we would do so. In Matthew chapter 5, He said He didn't come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. A little more clearly from the Greek would be, "He didn't come to set the Law aside for the night (abolish it) but to bring it to it's fullness (fulfill it)". The idea of setting the Law aside for the night is an interesting understanding. We are presently in a state of spiritual darkness, and Jesus was saying that during this time of darkness, the Law was not to be set aside; which implies picking it back up at a later date. God's will for His people was, is, and always will be defined by the Law and Prophets, and Jesus's teachings - all are consistent with the Law. God defined sin as lawlessness. Jesus continued His teaching on the Law with several illustrations: murder and adultery - don't harbor them in your heart, it is just like having done them. He also said to apply the Law with love; as love fulfilled the Law and the Prophets.
Yeshua/Jesus said if we have seen Him we have seen The Father. He also said He did and said what His Father did and said. In Tennessee we might say, "Jesus was the spittin' image of His Father. We should and would do likewise if we really love Him! That, in part, is what the Holy Spirit does for us. When we believe (entrust our spiritual well being to Him), He gives us the Holy Spirit (Spirit of God) as "earnest" (guarantee; somewhat like earnest money when we buy a house) for our salvation. The Holy Spirit then unites with our spirit, and we are "born again" as a new spirit - becoming a new man or woman, as the case may be. Jesus said we must be born again. The Holy Spirit then transforms us to the likeness of Christ - we become like Him - the Spittin" image of Him! That process is what is called grace, and it is indeed amazing! We then have the desire, and ability to follow that desire to do God's will. The Greek word for "transforms" is "morph" as in "metamorphises" which is the process a caterpillar goes through when changing into a butterfly: we are morphed from what we were into a child of God - in His image. That doesn't happen over night however, it is a lifelong process. That's why Yeshua told us we must become as a child if we want to enter His Kingdom. We become as a child who is so crazy in love with our Father that we want to be just like Him!
God uses these examples in His teaching to help us understand His righteous principles, and I can readily see this concept in my grandchildren One of them is especially like his father, and when you see him you can clearly see his father in him; my grandson is only four years old - its a natural thing! When we have such love and admiration for someone, we naturally want to be just like them - it's in our hearts and part of who we are. Yeshua also taught us that we must be as little children if we are to enter His Kingdom. In His Kingdom, He is the King of Kings and we follow His lead because we know there is no better way to live. His way is reflected in His Law and His teaching and we have a free will to follow Him because we love Him and want to be just like Him. We are a reflection of what is in our heart, and that is what God means when He says if you love Him you will do as He says. When you love God in your heart - the way He wants to be loved - obedience to His teaching is a Joy and not a burden. Don't ever think you are UNDER the Law; you are not. If you don't love and obey God, His Kingdom may not be for you: you really do have a free will.
I'm still learning myself and I mess up meeting even my own standards, but as I mature I tend to recognize my weaknesses more quickly, repent more readily, and pray for forgiveness more earnestly. It is really about where our heart is, and the Law and Prophets become a means toward a peaceful life - secure in Him; They help us to know Him! The entire Gospel of John is great teaching, but Chapter 14 is an especially good summary of Yeshua/Jesus' teaching about doing as He says. I would recommend reading it.
From a practical standpoint, how do we achieve a change from "We're not under the Law; I'm saved by grace and can't lose my salvation" attitude, to an attitude of being in God's will for His people? First, we have to be convinced in our hearts where we stand - head knowledge won't do a lot of good. Does the Law and Yeshua's teaching have an ultimate value to us or are we truly able to do as we please and Still dwell in God's Kingdom? Knowing that sin is lawlessness ... sinners are by definition without the Law. Is the Kingdom of God really a lawless society? Certainly it isn't. Is changing the Law acceptable? I don't know anyone who has the authority and organizational freedom to change what God put in place, but it has already happened, and is readily accepted by many. Are those who follow the "traditions of men" contrary to God's Law really following God's Law? I wouldn't think so. We already know Satan's agenda is to change the Law and times, and his "mark" is on those who defaulted from God's mark which is on those who keep His commands and adhere to the teaching of Yeshua/Jesus.
A little testimony: I've been a Sabbath keeper for may years - since I was convinced in my heart that it was the last, not the first day of the week. About three or four years ago, I decided to try to learn more about Jesus - the teachings and culture of the time from which He came. Part of that is keeping the Seasons/High Holidays. Passover, is a reminder of the exodus of God's people out of Egypt and slavery. It is also a foreshadowing of Yeshua's first coming as the Messiah. It includes a seven day "feast of unleavened bread." Leavening is likened to sin: unleavened bread is symbolic of a sinless life. The first year I didn't really know what to do. The next year I went for six days not eating food with leavening, then on the last day my wife and I were on a trip, and I had driven for about an hour looking for a Bo jangle's Cajun chicken biscuit. As we were getting off the Interstate, I realized the biscuits had leaven in them! I ended up with a wrap. We had just returned to the Interstate when a peace that passed understanding came over me. It lasted a few minutes, then went away, The point of all this is God recognized what I would consider to be a minor detail, and blessed me for my effort! Later I learned I should have been celebrating by eating unleavened bread, not avoiding leaven. I'll have the chance to do better next year. The greater point is: just because we don't know and/or understand all there is to know about the Law, God put it in our hearts and on our minds when we entrusted out spiritual well being to Him and it is there for a reason. We have a free will to use it as best we can! God has done His part. How we respond is up to us.
May the God of the universe guide us in all that we do!
Everything has a purpose (July 23,2012)
There will then be one flock, one Shepherd (John 10:16)
While watching a show on TV just before bedtime, July 23, 2012, a scene of chaos came up in front of the TV screen ( I think Alan Jackson was singing a country song that I especially like). The scene was a montage of live battles between good and evil, light and darkness, in black and white. There were a lot of different scenes that were changing every few seconds (maybe 8 to 12 different scenes at a time). The vision continued for several minutes, then disappeared. I couldn't focus on either the TV or the vision. The TV was visible through the scene and I could hear Alan Jackson singing in the background. The scene was very frightening and I came away from it not knowing what had just happened, but it left me with a feeling that my faith in God was not what it should be. I got up to go to bed, and told my wife about what happened. I asked her if she had seen or heard anything. She hadn't.
Before I lie down, I end my day conversing with God. I told Him I didn't understand what had just happened and asked Him, "What was that about?" During the night I had a dream (early in the morning of the 24th). The dream was about the second coming. I can't remember the details, but it was also very stressful. As the dream ended, a voice said, "As it was in the day of Sodom and Gomorrah, so will it be."
I made the above notes when I got out of bed, so I wouldn't forget the scene, the dream, and the message. Then I did a review of Sodom and Gomorrah in God's Word. It appeared to me that the prevailing sin was sexual depravity - much as it is today. As the day progressed, I got confused about the most critical part of the message - was it "So it is." or "So it will be."? Quite a difference! I believe now that God was reminding me of what the Bible said and the message was to be interpreted as "So it is." Kind of like, "I told you so, open your eyes and look around."
Several things can be gleaned from all of this (The following thoughts have been developed over time, it is presently April 2015, the Season of Passover):
It seems God was telling me that times are as they were in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. On several other occasions, He has told me that His return, and the End of Days are soon to come. 1) About thirty years ago, He verbally told me, "I'm coming soon." Thirty years ago is not "soon" to me; at the time I was thinking more like days to weeks! 2) At the end of a rather long dream about His second coming, I leaped up and as gravity released it's grip on me, I rose to the height of a tall city building, and there I woke up. 3) Some time later, when I was alone on a hill where I frequently went to pray, I was thinking about the dream relative to gravity releasing it's grip on me, when a spiritual vision took over my thoughts. As I was rising (quite high) I looked down and saw someone who was not released! I called for her to come up, but she couldn't. I cried out, "No, no, take her not me!" then I ended the vision. 4) The Lord, or someone, gave me a song about the second coming and gravity vision. Words, melody, and all, at one time. I've never been able to write songs on my own, they just come from somewhere - in a completed package! (July 9, 2006) 5) The above event: the vision, dream, and message! All of these messages make up a considerable bit of information about a very significant topic!
The vision of the chaos was a vision of spiritual warfare between good and evil; it was everywhere, persistent, and chaotic. God has to constantly deal with all of that evil - problems are everywhere, persistent, and chaotic. Also, myself and those of you who have entrusted your spiritual well-being to Jesus, need to have faith in Him to deal with all this evil on our behalf.
The last message I received came in the form of a dream followed by a short verbal message. The dream took place on August 20, 2012 (about two and a half years ago) I believe that God is testing me; and, as a friend told me, "The teacher doesn't talk during the exam. I started having communications with God when I met Him thirty-one years ago in a cloud of light - I miss them very much! I believe the lesson was that we can trust the Written Word just as much as we trust what He tells us personally!
A favorite phrase a friend used to use was, "If it doesn't make any difference, what difference does it make?" God has a purpose in all that He does, so what is God's purpose in all of this? The answer is painfully obvious - we must be prepared for The Lord's return and all that comes with it. Also, we must stay that way. I don't set dates, but all indications point to a very near return! Shortly after I met God, He told me, "You can believe what's in the Bible". So, to the Bible we go.
Normally, a decent writer wouldn't put the important punch-line in the beginning of the explanation, but in this case I think it would help to know where we're going so we can appreciate the significance of the warnings, and understand exactly what they mean. So, here it is:
In the beginning of the creation account, the earth was in chaos and waste. God came to bring order to that chaos. One of the first tools He introduces is the concept of time. He also tells us why it is necessary, including how, why, and when it ends. On day four, the sun, moon and stars were placed in the expanse of the sky for separating the day from the night, and they will stay there until the New Jerusalem comes down to earth. They were placed there to have dominion over the day and night, and they were also placed there for signs and for seasons and for days and years. Time begins and time ends! The concepts of time and the signs and seasons are very important! (Paraphrased from Genesis 1, and Revelation 21)
As a result of a spiritual war in heaven, Satan, along with his angels, were thrown down to Earth in great fury because he knew his time was short. When he arrived, he and his army of fallen angels went off to wage war on those who keep God's Commandments and maintain their testimony to Jesus. (Paraphrased from Revelation 12.) Later in the story, the mark of the beast is introduced as a mark branded on a person's right hand or forehead which allows that person to buy and sell. The mark is a name or a number; 666. Without that mark, one can't do either. Quite frightening! God's people also receive a mark on the hand and forehead: this is where the fortitude of God's people has its place - in keeping God's commands and remaining loyal to Jesus. (Paraphrased from Revelation 14.) Note here the mark of the beast and the mark of God are present at the same time - those of you who think you don't have to go through the tribulation might want to re-consider your position! "Tribulation" in Greek means "pressure": receiving the mark of the beast and not being able to buy or sell is a lot of pressure!
The concept of "a mark on the hand or forehead" is significant and is used throughout the Bible relative to God's people and their thoughts and actions. To help us understand the consistency in God's teaching we can go back to the giving of the law in Deuteronomy. In the above discussion, the "mark" was used as a sign to distinguish between God's people, and Satan's people. This same sign was used by God when He gave us the commandments, it's called the Shema, and goes like this: "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6) We are marked by keeping God's commands and remaining loyal to Jesus from the giving of the Law through the end of days as described in The Book of Revelation. Jesus, indeed, did not come to abolish the Law. (Matthew 5)
When God gave the Commandments to Moses on Mt Sinai the first time, He gave them verbally. When the people heard God's voice it scared them so much that they told Moses to speak to them himself, because they believed if God spoke to them Himself, they would die. Moses told them not to be afraid, that "God has come only to test you, so that the fear of Him may remain with you and keep you from sin." God gave us His Law to test us and keep us from sin! The second time God gave the commandments to Moses on Mt Sinai, He gave them written in stone by His finger! Before God handed the stone tablets to Moses he gave some very significant instructions; "Above all you shall observe my Sabbaths, for the Sabbath is a sign between me and you in every generation that you may know that I am the Lord who hallows you." (Exodus 31) Why would God single out the Sabbaths? I believe He wanted us to know that He chose the Sabbaths as a sign between us that He is what makes us Holy - set apart to Him! I also believe He stressed the Sabbaths to warn us, knowing what Satan's agenda is: " From the Roman Empire, someone comes to: ''... hurl defiance at the Most High and shall wear down the saints of the Most High. He shall plan to alter the customary times and law; and the saints shall be delivered into his power for a time and times and half a time. (Daniel 7:25-27) I believe that three and a half years are upon us.
So then, God stressed the Sabbaths "above all" because they are a sign between God and His people. The Sabbaths are a focus of Satan's plan, and they are also used by God to test us. Let's not forget that they are a blessing to those who keep them. I believe that God had all of this in mind when He created time way back on day four! God's attention to detail is absolutely incredible!
The season's of the Lord are spelled out in Leviticus 23. The first one is the Sabbath of rest, it is written this way; "On six days work may be done, but every seventh day is a Sabbath of sacred rest, a day of sacred assembly on which you shall do no work. Where ever you live, it is the Lord's Sabbath." The first season of the Lord is written, "These are the appointed seasons of the Lord, the sacred assemblies which you shall proclaim in their appointed order." In the first month on the fourteenth day between dusk and dark is the Lord's Passover. The remainder of the "seasons" are detailed in a like manner, each with their appointed dates and requirements. Within the seasons you will also find Sabbaths.
Why spend so much time on the Commandments and the seasons? Because God and His followers know that Satan's plan is to alter the times and law; God stressed the importance in keeping the Sabbaths when He gave us the commandments; the Sabbaths are a sign between God and His people that He is the God that hallows us (makes us holy, set aside for Him); keeping the commandments and the testimony of Jesus is the sign of God's people; keeping the commandments is a test; Jesus said if we loved Him we would keep His commandments (a sign of our love for Him); Satan has been successful in changing the seventh day Sabbath of God to the first day Sunday worship day (not a holy day nor a sign that He is the God that Hallows us. It is simply a pagan day to worship the Sun god); most Christians know about the fore-shadowing of Passover, but few know of the rest of the seasons/Sabbaths; Passover was changed to the pagan holiday of Easter by Satan; and the list goes on. If God had not made time, we would not have signs or seasons, except for the physical signs like the rainbow which almost everyone knows.
If you want to know the most likely season that will usher in The Lord's return, read Leviticus 23:23-44, paying special attention to what's going on, for example; a day of expiation; a day of Atonement; the Lord's pilgrim-feast of Tabernacles; and harvest are just a few of the terms that Jesus used relative to the end of days. Expiation is an atoning action which obliterates sin from God's sight and so restores to holiness and divine favor. Also, keep in mind the year of Jubilee, when the land is returned to it's rightful owner! (Jubilee year is found in Leviticus 25:8-11) All of these seasons, aligned on a Jubilee year, when the Earth is returned to God would point to a likely season for His return!
I believe the end of days are upon us. I also believe keeping God's commandments and the testimony of Jesus is what separates the saved from the lost. I believe the entire Old Testament, and the teachings of Jesus the Son of God, consistently support these beliefs. Teachings that are inconsistent with the Old Testament and Jesus need to be handled with the greatest of care. This is a subject that we can't afford to get wrong! I believe the day is coming; and it's coming soon and unexpected; when it will be too late to act! Don't let it happen to you!
July 3, 2015
Tomorrow is the 4th of July - Happy Independence day! It is also the Sabbath - Shabbat shalom! Shalom is an interesting word, it not only means peace, but includes the thought of being complete and lacking nothing. I am beginning to get some feedback on these writings that I need to address. What I wrote above was intended as a warning to those who are awaiting the soon return of Yeshua. It appears that it is being used in some cases to rebuke others of their sinful ways. We all sin and fall short, including, or perhaps, especially me. But we know that if we repent, we are forgiven! Then we strive to do better. Bringing problems to others is a very delicate subject, and should always be done in love. One of my favorite bumper sticker says, "The truth will set you free - but first it will make you mad." We've all been there! The Law and the Prophets written in the Scriptures were written by God, not by me. Had I written them I probably would have done it differently, and the world would have been worse off for it! We all need guidance and direction.
As the day of Independence approaches, we remember how blessed we are in living in a country where we are free to live as we choose - a democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people. We are also free to practice the religion of our choice. Those of us who choose to follow Yeshua and His teaching, enter the Kingdom of Heaven. That Kingdom is not, however, a democracy like ours, it is a Kingdom ruled by a King! That concept makes it difficult for those of us who were raised so independently. As King, or King of kings, God makes the rules, which we can choose to follow or not. When we choose not to follow the laws of the Kingdom we are no longer subjects of the Kingdom, nor are we subject to His laws. So there you have free will! When Yeshua returns for His followers, He returns to rule the Earth - where will those who are not His subjects go? The answer is left to you, the reader!
On a more positive note, we have the opportunity to follow the Laws of the God who created all that there is, and knows the best way to live in His creation! We can go through life knowing that we are living the best possible life available to us! What a privilege and gift this is to us. His Law gives us direction and purpose, and are also a test of His to see if we love Him and really trust Him. When we love and trust anything or anybody, we will do what they say and do, because we realize that there are no better ways to live. When we realize the enemy is focused on leading us away from His ways, we know to be extra careful in those areas. God, in His Scriptures told us ahead of time what the agenda of the Devil is - to change the Law and times.
When I first learned of the Sabbath, the gentleman that taught me said, "Don't believe me, check it out for yourself. I took his advice, and asked myself three things: 1) What is the significance of the Sabbath? 2) What day of the week is it? 3) What am I going to do about the results of the first two questions?
1) What is the significance of the Sabbath? First of all God said to remember it and keep it Holy! (Holy is something set apart for God.) When He gave us the commandments written in stone, He told Moses to tell the people, "Above all keep my Sabbaths." He gave the Law as a test, and to show us what sin is. He gave us the Shema. The Sabbaths are a sign between God and His people that He is the God who hallows us (makes us holy). Satan was successful in changing the Sabbath from the last day of the week to the first day of the week. They are a subject of the test that is coming soon which will determine who are God's people, and who are not. Yeshua kept it. He also told us that He didn't come to abolish the Law he came to bring it to it's fullness by putting it in our hearts, and applying it with love. I'm certain He didn't fail in His mission. I'm also sure there are more that haven't come to mind!
2)What day of the week is it? This question, of course, doesn't address the High Sabbaths, only the seventh day Sabbath. The Bible addresses Sunday, the day Yeshua arose from the dead, the first day of the week - that would make the previous day Saturday. While Yeshua was here on earth, He kept the Sabbath (including the High Sabbaths), and didn't say anything about it being the wrong day - knowing what the enemy was going to do. The Sabbath begins on Friday at sundown and ends on Saturday at sundown, as do all the days on the Jewish calendar.
3) What am I going to do about the results of the first two questions? The answer was simple, keep the Sabbaths! I do so by worshiping and studying with a Messianic Jewish community. Jesus was a Jew, and I felt that knowing what His base of knowledge was would make me a better disciple of His. Messianic Jews are those Jews who have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah and didn't convert to Christianity. Where I attend there is about a 50-50 mix with Gentile and Jewish followers of Yeshua. "There will be one flock and one Shepherd!"
I plan to add writings on a weekly basis, Please check occasionally if you so desire, and if you like this site please send it out on social media! We are directed to reach all the nations. Thank you for your help and support.
God bless you and have a great Sabbath/July 4th